RESIDENT DEATH AND THE OBSOLETE LEASE
Prior to the law change, if the last remaining resident in a dwelling unit died leaving personal property behind in the unit, serious problems were created for the property manager. Upon the resident’s death, relatives often would request keys or access to the unit to retrieve personal belongings of the deceased. If the property manager provided such access to the relatives or friend of the deceased, massive liability was potentially created, as heirs could later appear claiming a property interest in something that they said was or indeed was willed to them by the deceased. Since the property manager was not allowed to provide access, the result was that the relatives of the deceased would need to open up a probate estate so a personal representative, referred to in some states as an executor, could be appointed, and the property manager could then deal with the executor directly, possibly get possession of the rental unit from the executor, or even serve notice on the executor and file an eviction if necessary. Since more often than not an estate was never opened, the property manager was left in a legal limbo, and would frequently have to consider hiring an attorney to open up an estate at significant expense and delay.
Florida Statutes Section 83.67 solves the problem of the deceased resident and the abandoned property, BUT it only will be effective and applicable if the proper wording is in the lease agreement.
The Wording Which MUST Be in the Lease Is As Follows:
BY SIGNING THIS RENTAL AGREEMENT, THE RESIDENT AGREES THAT UPON SURRENDER, ABANDONMENT, OR RECOVERY OF POSSESSION OF THE DWELLING UNIT DUE TO THE DEATH OF THE LAST REMAINING RESIDENT, AS PROVIDED BY CHAPTER 83, FLORIDA STATUTES, THE MANAGER SHALL NOT BE LIABLE OR RESPONSIBLE FOR STORAGE OR DISPOSITION OF THE RESIDENT'S PERSONAL PROPERTY.
Is This Wording in Your Lease? Really? Are you sure?
Take another look and see if these words: OR RECOVERY OF POSSESSION OF THE DWELLING UNIT DUE TO THE DEATH OF THE LAST REMAINING RESIDENT are in your abandoned property clause. Chances are the words are not there. Fix it now!!! Failure to fix this clause can mean the difference between getting possession 60 days after a resident’s death or having to wait many months and spending thousands of dollars in attorneys’ fees.
- The Curable Noncompliance Examined PART 1
- THE CURABLE NONCOMPLIANCE EXAMINED PART 2
- THE WRIT OF POSSESSION – WHAT IT IS
- THE WRIT OF POSSESSION AND THE FULL UNIT
- WORK ORDER COMPANY POLICY AND THE LAW